We stood outside the biggest club in Chicago with a pizza box sign that read Free Prayer. The first man to approach us was in his forties, hunched over with a cane, and homeless. He smiled a warm black man smile as he told us he can always use some prayer. I told him my name and he said that his best friend’s name was Ethan. He told me his name was David, and I told him my best friend’s name is David! I asked him what he need it for, and he told us his lower back had hurt him for over three years.
He had no job because of the pain. He couldn’t walk for a long time because the pain would spread into his legs. We put our hands on his shoulders.
Liz, Reid, and I prayed for him, and that our amazing God would heal his back.
I asked him how his back felt and he moved it around a little. He told us he had felt an intense fire burning in his torso while we were praying.
Yah, but does it still hurt? I asked him.
No. He hesitated to make sure.
I snatched his cane out of his hand and he began walking around on the sidewalk. He stood up straight. There was no limp at all. He started dancing. There was no pain.
All four of us were overjoyed and thanked and praised God! He had just healed David’s back and given him a fresh start! I handed his cane back to him and he folded it up and put it in his backpack, telling us he didn’t need it any more.
We were so stoked, but God did so much more that night. The next man to stop was a Pollock named Arthur who asked us to pray for his mother back in the motherland. We bowed our heads and prayed.
When we were finished, he was stunned by our sincerity. Growing up Catholic, he was moved by our passion for the Lord (not that there are not passionate Catholics, but you know…).
A few minutes later, a strikingly good looking man passed by us and read our sign. he stopped and asked for some free prayer. I asked him if he was Pippin because I thought he was the actor who played one of the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings.
He looked at me confusedly. He thought I had asked him if he was pimpin’.
He told me that he was not in that movie, but when he started to tell us his prayer requests, his girlfriend firmly grabbed his arm and pulled him away, saying Don’t talk to them! Let’s go.
We were disappointed, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had seen him in a movie. Then it hit me like a load of bricks! He had co-starred in the film War of the Worlds, alongside Tom Cruise! I asked Reid for his smartphone and checked. Sure enough, we had just met a movie star, though I felt rather stupid for asking if he was a different actor.
We continued praying and talking to and encouraging people on the streets outside the clubs and bars of Chicago until 3 or 4 am, and plenty of people were moved by the Lord’s Spirit touching them.
It’s nothing that we do except obey that gives the world a better picture of Christ. He is the One who moves people’s lives and shifts things in their hearts.